The San Diego County Office of Education Juvenile Court and
Community Schools (JCCS) recently received six-year accreditations from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
“This unprecedented accreditation was the result of a lot of
hard work from educators, parents, and community members," said Dr.
Randolph E. Ward, county superintendent of schools. "It's gratifying that
the WASC examiners recognized the work we're doing to improve student
learning and narrow the opportunity gaps facing our students."
Through the rigorous accreditation process JCCS leaders
sought feedback from various stakeholders about the culture, vision, and goals
of the schools.
JCCS received four accreditations: one each for Court
Schools, Community Schools, Monarch School, and San Pasqual Academy. This was
the first time the accreditation was split into four separate schools. In the
past, JCCS received accreditation as one program.
"Each of our schools has unique characteristics,
qualities, and students" said Wendell Callahan, director of assessment and
pupil services for JCCS. "It was only logical that we had a process for
each one of them."
Schools must go through the process periodically to maintain
WASC accreditation. WASC is a private nonprofit group that helps assure quality
and improvement at schools throughout California and Hawaii with a process
focused on school improvement and staff development.
The WASC process included a self-study that more than 60
JCCS teachers, staff members, administrators, and SDCOE partners contributed to.
The self-study outlines each school's current state as well as action plans improving
student learning and the overall school culture, vision, and purpose. Input
from focus groups made up of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and other
employees was included in the self-study.
“This is a testament to the authentic and robust involvement of all JCCS staff, students, families, and partners,” said Stacy Spector, executive director of JCCS. “It also is a clear message that the road of re-imagination on behalf of our students is the right one.”
In April, a WASC team visited JCCS sites over three days to
talk to teachers, administrators, parents, and students. During the visits,
evaluators looked at how each school is demonstrating an impact on the whole
student with a focus on professional learning, supporting second language
learners and students with disabilities, and utilizing technology as a means
for student learning.